Charles Pellegrino website


Mila

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It calls The Californian Incident, and it has a few interesting claims that I am not able to confirm.
Maybe somebody here will help me.

1. Charles says that one of the rockets fired by Rowe misfired. It created a very bright flash but never went up.
2. Charles says that up to his death Boxhall was sure that the steamer he observed from the Titanic was not only swinging, but moving too, and Boxhall sued Lord for perjury because Lord said Californian was stopped.
3. Charles says Beesley observed sidelights of Californian from his boat.
So, are there any sources to confirm these statements?
 
Mar 17, 2018
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Charles Pellegrino is an interesting Titanic author. He’s written three books on the subject: “Her Name, Titanic.” (1988; This book also has the distinction of some biographical information on Robert Ballard that is hard to find elsewhere), “Ghosts of the Titanic” (2000; a good book but poorly edited, has many spelling and punctuation errors that his books do not usually possess), and “Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy.” (2012; I am almost finished reading this one). He has personally appeared in the James Cameron documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss” (2003). As far as his writing style goes, he is (in my personal opinion), one of the very best Titanic authors of all time. I would put him in the same league with Walter Lord. However, he is also a magnet for controversy, and his reputation as a scientist and historian has suffered to some extent since 2010, when an error in one of his non-Titanic related books brought up a cursory investigation that discovered he did not have a PhD he was supposed to have. However, I wouldn’t judge him on this evidence alone. I think his books are brilliant and although they contain a few historical inaccuracies, it is not to the extent that his writing is unenjoyable or unreadable. Quite the opposite. My only advice is that you must read his books, but use caution and don’t believe everything he writes unless you can check it carefully with other Titanic authors and experts you respect. Overall, I think he is great and deserves much more credit than he usually gets.
 

Mr. Titanic

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Charles Pellegrino is an interesting Titanic author. He’s written three books on the subject: “Her Name, Titanic.” (1988; This book also has the distinction of some biographical information on Robert Ballard that is hard to find elsewhere), “Ghosts of the Titanic” (2000; a good book but poorly edited, has many spelling and punctuation errors that his books do not usually possess), and “Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy.” (2012; I am almost finished reading this one). He has personally appeared in the James Cameron documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss” (2003). As far as his writing style goes, he is (in my personal opinion), one of the very best Titanic authors of all time. I would put him in the same league with Walter Lord. However, he is also a magnet for controversy, and his reputation as a scientist and historian has suffered to some extent since 2010, when an error in one of his non-Titanic related books brought up a cursory investigation that discovered he did not have a PhD he was supposed to have. However, I wouldn’t judge him on this evidence alone. I think his books are brilliant and although they contain a few historical inaccuracies, it is not to the extent that his writing is unenjoyable or unreadable. Quite the opposite. My only advice is that you must read his books, but use caution and don’t believe everything he writes unless you can check it carefully with other Titanic authors and experts you respect. Overall, I think he is great and deserves much more credit than he usually gets.
Hello Brian,
Dr. Pellegrino is my favorite Titanic author, so I agree with many of your statements. I know the media has been spreading this fallacy that Pellegrino did not earn his PhD, but he in fact did. Pellegrino wrote about his experience with VUW in many of his books, including those from the 80's, long before the cursory 2010 "investigation" by a journalist who was citing personal blogs as sources, among other errors. VUW confirmed for me directly that Dr. Pellegrino's PhD was awarded, although he did indeed make the mistake of trusting a veteran that exaggerated their war record - which he corrected in a later edition of his book. Many first editions of books can contain errors and makes them collectibles sometimes.

Mila, if you are still curious, I can forward your questions to Dr. Pellegrino. Just let me know.
 
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Thank you. I would like to know the original source of the statement that one of the rockets misfired.
Never read anywhere else where a rocket misfired...inquiries, other testimonies..ect. That would have been testified to. Even it was a dud that would have been something that would have been reported. Boxhall I believe testified that they were dangerous things and he had to keep people clear. If there was a misfire that would be in the inquiries. Of all the papers I've read on Titanic's rockets never seen it mentioned. Just saying.
 

Mila

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Never read anywhere else where a rocket misfired...inquiries, other testimonies..ect. That would have been testified to. Even it was a dud that would have been something that would have been reported. Boxhall I believe testified that they were dangerous things and he had to keep people clear. If there was a misfire that would be in the inquiries. Of all the papers I've read on Titanic's rockets never seen it mentioned. Just saying.
Well, Stone testified that one rocket was much brighter than the others and that he was sure that this bright rocket was fired from the same steamer he was watching. So this Stone’s testimony could kind of confirm that one rocket misfired because I cannot think about any other reason it would have been brighter.
 
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Well, Stone testified that one rocket was much brighter than the others and that he was sure that this bright rocket was fired from the same steamer he was watching. So this Stone’s testimony could kind of confirm that one rocket misfired because I cannot think about any other reason it would have been brighter.
Poor quality control during manufacture. A little extra charge here or there. Happens more than it should. A rocket going up that is brighter is not a misfire. I've seen Zuni rockets where 3 of the 4 went as they should and the fourth one fail. All had the same lot manufacturing number.
 
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Mr. Titanic

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I will inquire further. Remember, the inquiries were not always the best source or final word on the sinking. A lot of Pellegrino's references are from the Walter Lord/MacQuitty/Pellegrino files, which involved letters from survivors and/or their family members. Even if the dramatic flare was not the exact rocket that misfired, it's documented proof they weren't exactly always consistent. And more emphasis was placed on those that did properly detonate, in making a case for alerting Californian, etc.
 
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I cannot think about any other reason it would have been brighter.
The man was lying. He was trying to get out of a situation he created when he said the bearing of the rockets followed the changing bearings of the steamer as it steamed away to the SW. Before that he claimed the rockets only went as high as 1/2 the masthead light, and said that he thought they came from a ship far beyond. If that were true, then he was admitting that he ignored distress signals coming from some unseen vessel. By claiming they definitely came from the steamer he was watching, then he gets off the hook because his claim was that a steamer in distress doesn't steam away from you. His much brighter story is not supported by Gibson. Nor is his steamer turning around story, nor is his watching the stern light for 20 minutes after story.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Charles Pellegrino is an interesting Titanic author. He’s written three books on the subject: “Her Name, Titanic.” (1988; This book also has the distinction of some biographical information on Robert Ballard that is hard to find elsewhere)
I own a copy of a very early (I bought it in 1989) of Pellegrino's Her name, Titanic. I don't think much of the book or his writing style but there are some interesting illustrations. But one of the most unusual tings about this book is that on the back cover the postscript refers to the Titanic as a 'Cunard' liner. That is obviously a printer error (at least I have assumed so) but I would like to know when that was corrected. There is no erratum acknowledged in the book; I checked.

If that error appeared only in a handful of early copies, does that make mine a collector's item? just asking.
 

Mila

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The man was lying. He was trying to get out of a situation he created when he said the bearing of the rockets followed the changing bearings of the steamer as it steamed away to the SW.
But how this particular statement could have possibly helpEd him to get out of the situation with the changing bearings. If anything, it was yet another evidence that the rockets were coming from the same steamer he was watching.
Before that he claimed the rockets only went as high as 1/2 the masthead light, and said that he thought they came from a ship far beyond.
And I believe him. The rockets could have been low-lying, but when he said one of them was brighter he was talking about the initial flash. Think about this. He said he was sure that the bright rocket was fired from the steamer he was watching. The only way to be sure of this is to see the initial flash at the deck.
If that were true, then he was admitting that he ignored distress signals coming from some unseen vessel. By claiming they definitely came from the steamer he was watching, then he gets off the hook because his claim was that a steamer in distress doesn't steam away from you.
Don’t you think this is a little bit too complicated? Besides, Gibson testified that Stone told him to tell Lord that the steamer *was* changing bearings. So was Stone so smart to foresee what is going to happen to make himself an alibi?
His much brighter story is not supported by Gibson. Nor is his steamer turning around story, nor is his watching the stern light for 20 minutes after story.
Right, but his testimony about changing bearings is supported by his later testimony in regards to Carpathia’s rockets and Carpathia herself. If he were lying he would have been much better off to place Carpathia SSE of him, versus placing her at about the same place the Titanic disappeared earlier.
 

Cam Houseman

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If that error appeared only in a handful of early copies, does that make mine a collector's item? just asking.
YES!


you're a lucky man Arun

I have yet to read Her Name, Titanic, I've read GOTT and Farewell Titanic. So far my favorite of the trio is Ghosts of the Titanic. I personally enjoy his little tidbits and his recounting of the sinking and wreck, and the finds him and Jim Cameron have made.
 
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So was Stone so smart to foresee what is going to happen to make himself an alibi?
The entire changing bearings story first started after the red sidelight had disappeared, at least according to Gibson. That was about the time that the famous 'her lights look queer' statement came out. Do you think Stone was first going to report to Lord that the steamer he was watching looks like it may be in real trouble after already watching 7 of his 8 rockets go up for almost an hour and not insisting Lord come topside to see for himself? Up until that time there was no mention of bearing changes. Then, as the lights started to take on a strange appearance, the steamer suddenly decides to sail off to the SW. Hmmm?
 
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Mila

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The entire changing bearings story first started after the red sidelight had disappeared, at least according to Gibson. That was about the time that the famous 'her lights look queer' statement came out. Do you think Stone was first going to report to Lord that the steamer he was watching looks like it may be in real trouble after already watching 7 of his 8 rockets go up for almost an hour and not insisting Lord come topside to see for himself? Up until that time there was no mention of bearing changes. Then, as the lights started to take on a strange appearance, the steamer suddenly decides to sail off to the SW. Hmmm?
Sam, below is a quote from Dr. Lee website

“Comment: SWxW is 236o15' (or S 56.25 W), and SW 1/2 W is roughly S 50 W.

At 1.50, according to Stone, the Californian was heading WSW, and the other steamer was about SWxW, which would put it 11.25 degrees off the port bow, or 1 point. Gibson saw the last rocket fired when the ship was one point on the port bow, about 10 minutes earlier. Although Gibson only made note of bearings relative to the Californian's beam and head, this correspondence between the two is striking.“


So as you see Gibson indirectly confirms Stone‘s testimony in regards to the bearings. Besides, as I said many times before Carpathia’s rockets and Carpathia herself were seen in the same general direction, in which the Titanic went to according to Stone. If Stone lied, why did not he send the Titanic eastward not westward, where Carpathia was later seen? So, I do believe that Stone was telling the truth and thar there is a good possibility that Titanic and Californian were drifting in different sets of currents. This possibility explains many things that is hard to impossible to explain otherwise.
 
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So, I do believe that Stone was telling the truth and thar there is a good possibility that Titanic and Californian were drifting in different sets of currents. This possibility explains many things that is hard to impossible to explain otherwise.
If you believe all of Stone's compass bearings, then you need to explain how a compass bearing could change from SSE to SWxW (that's 7 points - nearly 80°) can take place over approximately one hour of time for vessels about 8 to 10 miles apart, or whatever distances you like? Draw out the simple diagram and then figure out the strengths of currents needed to match the appearances. Then I might become a believer in what you are saying.
 

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